Editor’s Note: The headline from this story identified the wrong class. We regret the error. It is republished with the correct headline to reflect the class of 1953.

While dining and celebrating its 65th Reunion at the Good Times Restaurant last year the Caledonia High School Class of 1953, who’s Motto is “Seeds are planted, the Trees have yet to Grow” decided to make a donation to its revered high school Alma Mater.  After much discussion with classmates and the former principal at CHS, Mary Morem, it was decided trees would be the best gift. CHS indicated  trees would be a welcome addition to enhance the CHS Campus terrain and also be a lasting memory in honor of the 1953 graduating Class, which was at one time described by former CHS Superintendant Victor Rupp as “the best and brightest group of young men and women I  had the pleasure of working with  during my 40 year career in education”. The gift also honors all of those teachers, coaches, mentors, and friends who had such positive influence on this Class, many of whom spent their entire 12 years of grade school and high school education in the Caledonia system.

After their Reunion a committee of four was formed to organize and coordinate all activities necessary to bring the Class of ’53 gift wishes to reality.  The committee included Len Ranzenberger, Curt Schroeder, Jan Goergen and Gene Bunge the Class of ’53 “President in Perpetuity”, each of whom unselfishly pitched in, contributing their own resources plus many hours of their time  to contact classmates, raise money, select trees and planting sight  plus general coordination as required to make certain the trees were delivered to the school, properly planted and decorated with mulch to meet school standards and  blend  with established  CHS campus terrain.  

As you can see in the pictures, some of the trees have already been planted on the CHS campus.  A Memorial Plaque is being considered to honor of the Class of 1953 and in memory of all those who had such a positive and lasting influence on their lives.  Teachers, Coaches and friends like :  Bob Stark, Ruth Pongratz, Mary McCarthy, Genevieve Molling,  Leonette Eiken  and so many others like deceased classmates and loved ones who are fondly remembered and will never be forgotten.

“I think that I shall never see, a poem lovely as a Tree;  A Tree that looks at God all day, and Lifts its leafy arms to Pray.” 

                                                           from a poem by William Wordsworth

Caledonia High School Class of 1953 (in alphabetical order) - deceased*

Judith Abbotts*

Glen Alstad

Stanley Betz*

Camilla Boesen Doering

Gene Bunge

Bernice Burmester Meiners

Marlys Fruechte Grande

Jan Goergen

LaVonne Haar Kennealy

Robert Ideker*

Marilyn Inglett Klawitter

Milton Inglett*

Robert Inglett

Lloyd Johnson*

Duane Klawitter*

Wayne Klawitter*

Norma Klankowski Kuecker

Paul Klankowski

Lois Lauritzen*

Iona Meiners Burmester

Gregory Meitrodt*

Wayne Meitrodt

Gordon Meyer

Sondra Moen Stehr

Hartha Nelson Jackson

Valitta Neuman Ireland

Lila Oitzman Aske

Shirley Olson Ziegelmaier*

Lillian Pieper Heiller*

Leonard Ranzenberger

Gwendolyn Schaller

LaVerne Schoh

Curtis Schroeder

Shirley Schultze

Joyce Sommermeyer Bolduan

Charmion Strand Seekins*

Joan Thiele Kordsman*

Janice Verthein Warren

Ruth Waldron Dibley

Walter Wheaton*

Berdonna Witt Gomez

Joanne Wisland Alstad

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